2017–19 operating budget compromise would appropriate $43.7 billion

Budget negotiators reached an agreement on the operating budget for 2017–19 Wednesday morning, but details were not made public. The Senate Ways and Means Committee will have an executive session on the budget and other bills today at 8 am, and the budget must be passed and signed by the end of today. This tight timeline means that there was very little time for staff to get the numbers and language together.

Some information on the K–12 proposal (to comply with McCleary) was released late yesterday afternoon, and details on the rest of the budget were posted sometime this morning (see here for all the information). Here is an overview of the details:

Revenues: The budget would increase revenues by a net of $2.078 billion in 2017–19.

  • HB 2242 would increase revenues by $1.614 billion in 2017–19. According to the summary, this bill funds the education plan. (The full text is posted for this bill, but I haven’t read through it yet.) The state property tax would be increased to a flat $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed value. After four years, the tax would “revert to the current one percent revenue lid.”
  • HB 2163 is currently title-only. According to the budget summary, it would increase revenues by $456 million in 2017–19. It requires remote sellers and marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales taxes or report sales to the state; it applies the sales tax to bottled water; it applies the use tax to extracted fuels; and it applies an economic nexus standard to out-of-state retailers for B&O tax purposes.
  • SB 5977 is currently title-only. According to the summary, it would reduce revenues by $16 million in 2017–19 by creating or changing 13 tax preferences. This would include lowering the B&O rate on manufacturers to 0.2904 percent.
  • HB 1716 would reduce revenues by $19 million in 2017–19. It would create a construction registration dedicated account. (It has been passed by the House and Senate.)
  • HB 1677 would not affect revenues in 2017–19, but would increase them by $214 million in 2019–21. This bill sets up a new process for local infrastructure loans—it was assumed in the House-passed capital budget. It has been passed by the House.

Spending: The budget would appropriate $43.707 billion in 2017–19, an increase of $5.254 billion over 2015–17. Policy level spending would increase by $2.071 billion. (These figures are all NGFS+.) Policy level highlights:

  • There would be new McCleary-related spending of $1.8 billion. It looks like the prototypical school model would be maintained, rather than changing to a per-pupil model.
  • The budget would save $1.9 billion in 2019–21 by not funding the I-1351 class size reductions.
  • Higher education would get $75 million, of which $50 million is for the State Need Grant.
  • Collective bargaining agreements would be funded ($618 million).
  • Some pension costs would be funded from the Budget Stabilization Account (rainy day fund) to save $463 million in the NGFS+.
  • The budget would save $50 million by suspending payments to the Local Public Safety Account (as in the Senate-passed budget).
  • The budget would create the Department of Children, Youth and Families (as in the House-passed budget).

Other: The compromise balances over four-years. It would transfer $328 million from other funds to the NGFS+ in 2017–19, including $254 million from the Public Works Assistance Account. Extraordinary revenue growth that is transferred to the Budget Stabilization Account would be transferred back to the GFS ($898 million). Additionally, $944 million would be appropriated from the BSA. After all this, $1.158 billion would remain in the BSA and there would be an unrestricted ending fund balance of $985 million in 2017–19.

Add new comment